WASHINGTON — Roger Stone, an associate of President Donald Trump, says he won’t provide testimony or documents to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
An attorney for Stone said in a letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the committee’s top Democrat, that Stone was invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in refusing to produce documents or appear for an interview.
Feinstein made the letter public via Twitter Tuesday afternoon, one day after President Donald Trump tweeted in support of Stone.
Commentary by The Secular Jurist: Readers should note that invoking the 5th Amendment pertains to an individual’s constitutional right to avoid self-incrimination, and that its invocation only applies to officially requested documents if the act of supplying such documentation constitutes a criminal violation. Therefore, the 5th cannot be invoked by an individual to not comply with official requests for documents when the contents of such documentation might be incriminating. Furthermore, and I’ll have to verify this, but I don’t believe the 5th can be used to avoid a subpoena to appear before an official investigative body. If so ordered to testify, an individual may invoke the 5th to say nothing; but, it doesn’t provide protection to ignore a subpoena.